The Shot – April 2017. Exposure Explained.
So you pulled the plug – or pulled out the Visa and clicked the magic “Place Order” button B&H Photo website. Your new camera arrives and probably the first thought is – How do I turn it on? After conquering the on/off switch you move your attention to all the dials and buttons. MASP? WB – ISO – I don’t know!!! Though the path of least resistance is to set everything to Auto – you’ll never take full advantage of your camera and the image quality will always be less than desired. Soon you will grab your iPhone and head back out into the world. So How do I take good photos? In a nut shell – you make photos. We’ll dive in how to begin to shoot photos. Simple Basics:
A = Aperture is important when you want everything in or out of focus.
S = Shutter is when you want to capture action.
M =Manual is for when you want complete control over the exposure.
P = Program is essentially Auto, only you can adjust shutter or aperture.
We’ll go into all the buttons in a future edition of the Darkroom Chronicles. But first you need to understand the fundamentals of how these settings are influenced by time, light, space. This without explaining it like a science geek. These three elements determine how an image is exposed. Exposure is the foundation of photography. Understanding the exposure triangle will give you greater creative control of your photos. Exposure is not only how bright or dark an image is, it is also how sharp, blurry or noisy it’ll turn out. The most important thing to understand is:
A change in one of the elements will impact the others.
This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind. The camera determines the correct exposure by metering. So, if you set the aperture open and the ISO, the meter sets the shutter speed. What priority setting to use depends on what you are photographing. Portrait photography – you will probably want to use aperture, because it determines what is in focus. Sports, kids and birds in flight – there is tons of motion and shutter priority controls motion. Landscapes can use either, but aperture again to get everything in focus. The trilogy explained in a nutshell:
ISO – the measure of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. This is like Film. For example for bright light you would use 100 ISO film. For Low light 800 ISO film. The smaller the number (100 ISO) is the less sensitive and the higher number (ISO 1000) is more sensitive, but has less detail and more noise. Keep the ISO low as possible.
Aperture – the size of the lens opening when a picture is taken. The wider aperture will give shallower Depth of Field and affect the sharpness. Aperture is your camera lens and it lets more light in or less light in. The smaller the number (f/ 1.8) is the larger the opening gets, and the larger the number is (f/16) the smaller the opening gets. For portrait you have to set your aperture really wide f/2.8. That’s the secret of how you get sharp portrait and the background out of focus. Likewise set to f /8.0 + to get all of a landscape in focus.
Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open. Longer shutter speeds will affect sharpness and may produce motion blur. Shutter speed can be set very fast or slow. It does the same thing as the aperture – lets the light in. So a really fast shutter doesn’t let very much light in and the slow shutter lets more light in. So for kids or sports, a faster shutter speed (1000/s) is the way to go.
Getting the exposure dialed is often a compromise and depends on the situation, So knowing the exposure triangle is important.
In conclusion, all three ingredients that make the exposure takes practice. Set your ISO to the available light, aperture to how much you want in focus, let the meter set your shutter.
• Use the lowest ISO possible.
• Faster shutter speed use wider apertures.
• To prevent blur the shutter speed should be at slowest possible.